PHOTO: Starbuck Equestrian rider Faileen Aselta competes at a horse show this summer. – Andrew Ryback Photography
The Ridgefield-based Starbuck Equestrian program made its presence known at one of the area’s top events earlier this summer.
Starbuck Equestrian riders and horses were among the division champions at the 95th Ox Ridge Horse Show in Darien.
Riding Lord Stanley, Lindsay Juge finished first under-saddle and fourth over-fences to win the championship in the Baby Hunter division. Juge and Lord Stanley also earned reserve champion honors in the Suitable Hunter division.
Hannah Lupica and her Low Amateur jumper, Hypnose Van Paemel, won the Table II jump-off by three seconds over the second-place finisher.
Nine-year-old Grace Getchell, aboard Stepping Stone Farm’s Shaken Not Stirred, was second and fourth over-fences and second in the under-saddle to win a reserve championship. Getchell also captured the reserve championship in the Suitable Hunter division, placing first and fourth over-fences and fourth under-saddle.
Starbuck Equestrian junior hunters, Lady Courtland and Rio Java House — ridden by Hannah Taylor and Maggie Greene, respectively — took top ribbons in the under-saddle and over-fences classes throughout the competition.
In the Low Children’s division, Kelly Benson and Zilver Pomme VDL placed fourth in the jumper class and fifth in the hunter under-saddle.
Not to be outdone were the Starbuck Equestrian adult riders. Riding Stepping Stone Farm’s Thunder Bay, Betsy Curtin finished second and third in the Baby Hunter division and sixth and eighth in the Suitable Hunter division. Curtin also won two fourth-place ribbons in the Modified Child/Adult division.
Robert Rose and his jumper Rocky moved up to the 0.95-meter jumper classes and completed their jumping rounds.
Caitlin Darnall rode in the Grand Prix grass ring on her new horse Ballichaco and completed the jump-off round with a seventh-place finish in the competitive High Adult Amateur jumper division.
Emma Ryan and Rio’s Grand Finale were the champions in the Evergreen division, placing first and second in over-fences round and fourth under-saddle. Rio’s Grand Finale is the son of Stepping Stone Farm’s Rio Bronco, a former national ASHA champion.
Notes: Starbuck Equestrian riders also impressed at the Fairfield Hunt Club Premier AA Horse Show.
Newcomer Zoe Curry dominated in the Opportunity Hunter division. Riding Rosmel’s Remarkable, Curry placed in every class she competed in, finishing first, second, third, and fourth over-fences.
Lindsay Juge returned to the show ring aboard Rio’s Limoncello and had second- and fourth-place finishes in the Children’s Modified division.
Trainers at the two shows were Emma Ryan, Amanda Starbuck, Juliana Starbuck, and Stepping Stone Farm owner Janie Weber. Weber in his her sixth decade competing at the Ox Ridge Horse Show as either a rider or trainer.
“Ox Ridge Horse Show has always represented the best horsemen in this area and has always been managed by an excellent team of professional horse show staff members,” said Weber.